England and Wales ‘one step closer to ending child marriage’

The marriage and civil partnership (minimum age) bill had its second reading in parliament, with government and opposition MPs supporting the private member’s bill brought by Conservative MP Pauline Latham.

The vote was welcomed by campaigners and survivors of child marriage who have been lobbying against the current legislation, which allows 16 and 17-year-olds to wed with parental consent.

Many cases of child marriage in the UK are unregistered and “invisible”, campaigners say, taking place in religious or traditional family settings at ages lower than 16.